* Alright people. Moz's evil lawyers advised Moz to put the following disclaimer - this blog is full of pictures and will slow down your download time enough t0 make you go crazy. If you have a slow Internet access, a bad standing with TMNet Streamyx or life in a civilization where only dialup access exist, please, go elsewhere ...*
For a hiking person like me, it's quite hard to resist the temptation of Blue Mountains when I was just a little more than 100 kms away in Sydney. While I knew next to nothing about the place, it had been one of those places that have always had this allure, a strange gravity pulling me towards it.
So, when I got approval to rent a car for the weekend, and when I had Darren helping me work out the itenary and gave me maps, directions, local knowledge that poor tourists in shuttle buses just wouldn't get, there was no way in the world I'd miss it.
So, last Saturday, I turned up at the ungodly hour, 8 am, to pick up my rental car. And after 30 minutes of being hopelessly lost in Sydney CBD's one way street maze, I manage to find myself on the Great Western Highway towards the Blue Mountains.
Some info - Blue Mountains area is actually considered part of the greater Sydney metro area. You'll see signs all over the place that says West Sydney this, West Sydney that ... so while it's around 100km from central Sydney, it's still part of Sydney. We have people in the office who stay in Blue Mountains and commute to work.
So ... up I went. Weather forecast was gloomy. All week long, the weather forecast was like "Rain over the weekends, with strong South-South Westerly winds" ... which spelt doom for me. If rain isn't bad enough, south-south westerly winds really means COLD wind coming from Antartica. Brrrrrr.... C.O.L.D.
When I was up at Glenbrook, the first town in Blue Mountains, the weather was supreme - no clouds, clear blue skies in typical Aussie style - I was saying to myself that there's no rain .... what rain?
And I spoke too soon ... 10 minutes later, the clouds rolled in, the rain came down ... and by the time I got to my first attraction, at Wentworth Falls, there's a little drizzle ... I can't see a damn thing !!! NOTHING. Just whiteout !!!
Severely depressed, and feeling really cold ... I walked to 2 of the lookouts there - which was supposed to have great views of the Blue Mountains and also a waterfall - like the place is called Wentworth Falls, right? So I just listened to the sound of falling water, and took it that the falls is there after all.
Then, it was off to Leura, a quaint village where I drove around to Sublime Point, which is supposed to have absolutely great views. I nearly died when I got there and it was all fooggy as well ... but this guy with a prostetic leg came around and told me that I had to be patient and wait for the winds to change .... and the view will be better. So I did ... and was totally rewarded ... it was sooooooOOOOOOOOOOooooo beautiful.
Then, I understood it better, and drove back to Wentworth Falls to get the view. As usual, I waited, and hit gold ... it's so cool.
From there, it was a short drive along the famous Cliff Drive (also called Blue Mountain Highway - Route 5), which took me to the famous Echo Point.
Echo Point is where the 3 Sisters are located ... so like other tourists I just snapped away. But light wasn't very good, and there's still plenty of fog.
** Next post will talk about what I did at Scenic World and the night scene in Katoomba **